Want a Fitness Career? Recently Certified, Recent Kinesiology Grad?
So you want a fitness career. If spring of 2020 was your last semester, supposedly full of parties, plans, and optimism, you have officially been rerouted.
If you just passed your certification exam or are on your way…
It’s a bit of an oh-Sh*# moment.
Stop! Take a bow!
But first… I want to congratulate you. Stop and acknowledge it, especially if you didn’t get to officially cross the stage and flip your tassel, if you just got that certificate mailed to you – even though that’s typically what happens anyway. That job waiting for you may have disintegrated but do not overlook the thing you just did.
The world does need fitness professionals. You can’t be healthy without exercise. You can’t have a strong immune system without exercise. Your weight loss, or sport specific program is not necessarily your best immune boosting program and people need proper instruction now more than ever.
The Difference that is Now
Fitness is forever changed. It isn’t what it was just a few short years ago when you declared your major. It isn’t what it was when you headed back to school after your Christmas break. It isn’t even what it was at the time you were looking forward to spring break.
So what’s your plan B?
Maybe you were a lucky one and you already were planning on an online business or a hybrid one at least. And yet, even that is different now. Because 100s of thousands of your fitness training and health coach colleagues are now online too.
There’s more competition than ever.
So What is the Plan B if You Still Want a Fitness Career?
Here are 3 BIG tips for you.
(1) Don’t blend in.
Do not do what everyone’s doing. That’s easy in part, because no one was doing this and if you just follow the leader it’s the blind leading the blind. Just because someone was successfully established in a face-to-face training business does not mean they will be successful taking that training business online.
For one good reason, if they weren’t there in the first place before COVID19, they didn’t believe online training was effective.
If you believe that in your gut, you will relay that and no one is going to buy from you something that you don’t even believe in yourself.
An established business with a track record is starting at square one just like you are when they go online.
In fact, the more conservative, and set in habits and at pricing and package structures, the more they used a script and stuck with the script that worked decades ago… the harder time they’ll have.
(2) Do homework.
You have to set yourself apart and you’ll do that by doing foundational work. Know who you want to serve and why. Know what their problem is, in their own words.
Three big mistakes any trainer can make are starting with:
- I want to teach….
- I want to use…
- I want to be on… (social media platform)
So let’s go through them one at a time:
I want to teach kickboxing… or yoga… or zumba …
If you start like this you might have some success. But it’s limited. So someone has to be shopping for Kickboxing or yoga or zumba, first. Then you’re going to potentially have a problem already. Who might be searching for yoga, for instance? Someone who loves it. And that could mean an 18 year old, a 50 year old, and a 70 year old. Could be a male or female, an athlete or a woman with hot flashes and stress. It could be someone suffering from depression and anxiety.
And the same is true for Zumba or Kickboxing (or fill in the blank). So starting that way can make it hard to write an ad or an email to someone. Don’t you talk differently to an 18 year old girlfriend than you would to a 50 year old man who’s dealing with depression?
So if you want to have a fitness career, start with one of those people and the problem they have you can talk to them all day in a way they’ll listen.
I want to use… bodyweight only… or TRX… or trampolines…
I get it. Some tools are just sexy and fun and are easily accessible. But, to play devil’s advocate again, body weight training is going to eliminate anyone who has a shoulder issue and it makes it hard to do pulling exercises unless you’ve got a swing set – and even then… can you do a pull up? So you miss one of the most-needed posture-balancing exercises needed today.
Should it be about the tools? Or about the problem someone has? If you find someone you work with is say, over a keyboard much of the day do you want them doing push ups for their workout? Or if they need to improve bone density, will body weight alone do it?
If you focus on the person with the problem you can create a solution.
I want to be on …. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok…
By now you get where I’m coming from and if you can pick the person and the particular problem you solve, the only platform you should care about is the one that customer uses and loves. YOU may love TikTok and Instagram but if your customer is on Facebook or LinkedIn is an even better opportunity, that’s where you want to be.
There is one universal platform no matter who you serve and that’s YouTube. It’s a search engine all by itself. Owned by Google and you can’t go wrong with it.
Well, wait – you actually CAN go wrong with it. You have to be talking to one person. You have to appeal to the wants and desires of that person. You may know what they need. But they don’t necessarily (even if they think they do) so you have to meet them where they are.
Message them in a way that gets their attention.
Make your posts something they envy, want, desire, resonate with. Hate something they hate. Love something they love. Peak their curiosity.
Avoid being teachy, preachy, or condescending.
If you want to be shared and saved make it something they don’t want to forget. Make it something that makes them say, Yes! Or Huh, I didn’t know that, or I love this!
(3) Never Give Up.
What you try the first time won’t always work. If you want a fitness career you need to know it won’t be easy. What you try many times won’t work. You may get laughed at, told it’s risky, told no – for a loan or by a potential client, or told you’re crazy by your parents, friends and still feel like yes, this is absolutely what you’re meant for and want to do.
Don’t give up. Surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing, who can teach you and mentor you, and who have struggled too. Anyone with staying power has struggled a lot, made a lot of mistakes, and still believes so much in what they’re doing they learned how to make a good business decision – over and over again. They learned how to be scrappy and save money and where to invest it and where not to.
Where to Turn For Help When No One Has Navigated THIS Before?
Usually success leaves clues. If you follow someone who has stuck with it and created more than one business, they are usually the ones who can do it again. Make good decisions about following who you know is successful not based on their social media popularity.
There you have it. If you want a fitness career there is still plenty of opportunity. It looks different. And you can do it.
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Whether you’re a University Lecturer, gym owner, recent grad, or newly certified fitness professional let me hear your thoughts.